Black and white photography is an art form in itself, with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. However, there are many great photographers like Ashwin Khubchandani who have mastered the art of black and white photography. Here are some techniques you can use to shoot black and white photos.
The best time to shoot a black and white photo is during the golden hour, when the light is soft, diffused by dust particles in the atmosphere due to excessive humidity or pollution. This kind of light helps give great tonality to pictures. Also, try to avoid mid-day light since it is harsh and can create contrast between light and dark areas. If you have to shoot in the middle of the day, then use your flash or reflectors to fill in the shadows with light – this will help reduce the overall contrast between light and dark areas.
The Use of Color
If you are using color film, try to limit the colors in your frame to blue, gray, white, and black. If you are shooting digital, it is best to convert photos into black and white using software like Photoshop to help ensure that all the potential color information has been removed before actually starting to shoot.
The Rule of Spaces
One powerful way to make a black and white photograph more aesthetically pleasing is to frame your subject within a space. This could be in the form of different alleyways, brick walls, or winding garden paths, for example – all of which can help create great context in black and white photos.
The closer you are to your subject in terms of perspective, the more you will see detail. Details can make a black and white photograph stand out as long as you don’t overdo it. Be sure to pick wisely as to which details you want to be prominent in your image.
Use the Negative Space
Another great way of creating a powerful black and white photo is what photography experts refer to as “using negative space.” The idea here is to have a large amount of empty space around your subject so that it stands out from everything else in your picture. Again, this can be combined with the rule of spaces and framing techniques to take awesome black and white photos.
You must plan ahead and know what kind of black and white photo you want to take before actually starting to shoot. This will help ensure that you do not miss important shots and will also give you a sense of direction as far as framing and other techniques are concerned. By planning ahead and utilizing the above-mentioned tips and tricks, you will be able to shoot some awesome black and white photos.
Choose Your Backgrounds Wisely
Always pick a background for black and white photos very carefully. Make sure that it is clean, clear, and simple to avoid unnecessary distractions from your subject. It is best to shoot black and white photos with nothing else but the sky in the background since this will help focus all attention on your main subject.
The composition can make or break a black and white photo. You should avoid using the rule of thirds when composing your shots, instead opting for symmetry to create more balanced images. Also, make sure that there are no distractions in your frame before you take your shot since they will only serve to ruin it.